There’s something so alluring about a beautifully baked quiche, just waiting for the first cut. I’m not sure if it’s the golden pastry peeping out around the edges or the shiny surface hinting at what awaits inside.
Sweet, tender butternut squash peeping through gives this quiche a delicate orange hue. Along with the sweet caramelised onions, floral rosemary and earthy mushrooms; it has a savoury sweetness that’s contrasted against the strong stilton cheese.
Savoury tarts aren’t something that’s thrown together. It takes time, but the reward of a soft-set rich slice of warm quiche waiting at the end more than makes up for it. There are a few crucial steps to make an exceptionally good quiche. Blind baking the shortcrust pastry and egg washing it to ensure a crisp base is the first. The second, is baking it until the filling is puffed and golden with an ever so slight wobble in the centre which will result in a velvet soft filling. I also choose to opt for a deep pie-style dish so that you have a tall slice that stands proud.
Quiches are such an adaptable bake. They’re perfect for lunch and dinner as well as those peckish moments. A way to use up spare vegetables, an excuse to spend a few hours tucked away in the kitchen or a need for a stunning picnic item; quiche is the answer.
Ingredients – Makes one 9 inch quiche*
- 225g plain flour
- 100g unsalted butter, cubed & cold
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp. cold water
- 400g roasted butternut squash**
- 5 large chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 small red onions (or one large), diced
- 30g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 75g stilton cheese
- 3 medium eggs
- 200ml double cream
- extras: sea salt, pepper, olive oil & nutmeg
*I made this quiche in a 9inch pie dish which is 2inches deep
**I use cubed butternut squash for the base of the quiche and use the curved pieces of squash (from the base of the squash) for the top of the quiche so that it looks prettier. This isn’t necessary though, you can just use cubed roasted squash.
Begin by making your shortcrust pastry. In a bowl, combine the salt and flour. Add in the cold, cubed butter and gently rub it into the flour until you have a mix that resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the water (starting with 2 tbsp. and adding more if needed) and combine using your hands, until you have a dough that has almost come together. Tip out onto your worktop and knead a few times to bring the pastry together (don’t do this too much or your pastry will become tough.) Pat into a round disc, clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 175°C and have your dish ready. Roll out the shortcrust pastry in a circle big enough to fit the base, edges and a little more for overhang. It should be about £1 thickness (around 3mm.) Line the dish with the pastry, trim off any excess and crimp the edges. Prick the base with a fork, line it with baking paper or clingfilm and fill the case with baking beans. Bake the pastry case for 20 minutes, remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Crack one of the eggs from the quiche filling and egg wash the inside of the tart case using a pastry brush. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out. Keep the oven on to bake the quiche later.
While the pastry case is baking, we can prepare the filling. Place your diced onion into a pan with a glug of olive oil over medium heat. Cook down the onions for 5 minutes until caramelised. Add in the mushrooms with the chopped rosemary and cook for a few more minutes until just softened. Turn off and leave until assembly.
Once your pastry case is ready and cooled slightly, you can assemble the quiche. In an even layer, place the roasted cubes of butternut squash into the pastry case. Spoon over the onion, rosemary and mushroom mix followed by the grated cheddar. Next, layer any larger half circles of butternut squash you have and crumble over the stilton. In a bowl whisk together the 3 eggs (you should have one cracked already from the egg wash earlier) and double cream. Add in a pinch of sea salt, a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pastry case until it is completely full. Lightly tap the quiche a few times to settle the mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the quiche is golden, puffed and has a very little wobble in the centre. Leave to cool completely before refrigerating for 1 hour or until cool. Slice and serve!